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Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 1am

News

The home stretch

Despite the fervent wish of Mayor Mary Prochnow and a May 9 meeting that lasted more than five hours, the city of Los Altos has not adopted any new ordinances to support affordable housing.

Councilmembers offered feedback on reports identifying affo...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 20...

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Community

History essay winners present

History essay winners present


Winners display their prizes from the 33rd annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest during a May 9 reception at the Los Altos History Museum. Students were asked to write on Native American foods, reflecting a recent museum exhibition. Pic...

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Sports

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Bryan Rau pitches against Palo Alto Thursday afternoon.

Mountain View High still had hope in the last inning of Thursday’s baseball game against top seed Palo Alto, but the third-seeded Sp...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tom’s Depot decries ‘defamatory’ comments

As the owner of Tom’s Depot, I take issue with the article on the Loyola Corners study session with the Los Altos City Council and the Planning and Transportation Commission (“Changes at Loyola Corners scrap...

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Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maure...

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Business

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Owner Jade Luong, center, with Green Bakery employees inside the cafe.

Green Bakery & Cafe, the new cafe at the south end of Rancho Shopping Center, might only have opened its doors April 29, but the sweet endeavo...

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People

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

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News

The home stretch

Despite the fervent wish of Mayor Mary Prochnow and a May 9 meeting that lasted more than five hours, the city of Los Altos has not adopted any new ordinances to support affordable housing.

Councilmembers offered feedback on reports identifying affordable housing opportunities and a development lin...

Readmore

Business

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Owner Jade Luong stands with her assistant, Vince Le, inside Green Bakery.

Green Bakery & Cafe, the new cafe at the south end of Rancho Shopping Center, might only have opened its doors April 29, but the sweet endeavor was years in the making. Jade Luong owns it ...

Readmore

Sports

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Bryan Rau pitches against Palo Alto Thursday afternoon.

Mountain View High still had hope in the last inning of Thursday’s baseball game against top seed Palo Alto, but the third-seeded Spartans’ rally came up short and the Vikings ...

Readmore

Community

History essay winners present

History essay winners present

Winners display their prizes from the 33rd annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest during a May 9 reception at the Los Altos History Museum. Students were asked to write on Native American foods, reflecting a recent museum exhibition. Pictured, from left, front row: Josephine Dunne, Aver...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tom’s Depot decries ‘defamatory’ comments

As the owner of Tom’s Depot, I take issue with the article on the Loyola Corners study session with the Los Altos City Council and the Planning and Transportation Commission (“Changes at Loyola Corners scrapped,” April 26).

I was most disturbed by the repo...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Courtesy of Sara Boadwee
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna began her ministry at Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos in February.

Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos enters a new era with the calling of the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, who serves as the ninth rector of the church.

Ranna began her mi...

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People

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

Readmore

Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 201 Almond Ave.

A second meeting is slated 3 p.m. ...

Readmore

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen Wadiak has worked in the Silicon Valley communi...

Readmore

Stepping Out

West Bay sets the stage for 'Salome'

West Bay sets the stage for 'Salome'

Otak Jump/Special to the Town Crier
Heather Green and Isaiah Musik-Ayala star in “Salome.”

West Bay Opera is scheduled to perform Richard Strauss’ “Salome” 8 p.m. May 26 and June 3, and 2 p.m. May 28 and June 4 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

A piano preview is sl...

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Obituaries

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

Readmore

Magazine

Conserving water, drought or not: Tips for saving water – and money – in the garden

Conserving water, drought or not: Tips for saving water – and money – in the garden

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Creating a permeable path enables stormwater to recharge the water table rather than running down sidewalks and streets into the bay. Above, several inches of mulch, though packed down, allow water to infiltrate. The mulched path flows nicely into planted are...

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LAYT introduces youth to acting – and a new culture


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Young actors and actresses rehearse ahead of their auditions for “Arabian Nights.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre encourages mastery, self-confidence and a sense of belonging for students of all ages, according to the aspiring thespians who recently auditioned for the fall production of "Arabian Nights."

Founded in 1990 under the umbrella of the Los Altos Recreation Department, LAYT’s stated goal is to develop skills and interest in the dramatic arts while creating a family environment where all members are respected and well treated.

One alumna of the program, Michaela Schwartz, 22, appeared in 21 LAYT shows and co-produced a documentary, "Dramatized" (2008), for Mountain View’s Freestyle Academy. Now a junior at Chapman University in Southern California, she majors in film production with an emphasis in directing - and she’s still passionate about LAYT.

Schwartz, whose brother Devlin also acted in the troupe, said she made her "absolute closest friends" at LAYT, where she felt empowered to develop confidence and polish her acting skills to land bigger and bigger roles. The adults involved allowed students to "move at a pace that we were more comfortable with," she added.

Acting up: Students learn about other cultures

"Arabian Nights" director Rebecca J. Ennals, artistic director at the San Francisco Shakespeare Theatre, began directing LAYT plays in high school. At LAYT, she has overseen "Great Expectations" and "Little Women."

Ennals said she loves that while LAYT shows sell out and the community supports the program, "it hasn’t totally become a machine."

She first approached Trish Files, LAYT artistic director, with the "Arabian Nights" idea, because "this is about a culture these kids don’t know much about."

"It’s a very ancient and fascinating part of the world," Ennals said of Arabia, adding that acting allows people to become "a temporary expert in … cultural traditions from other countries like India or Persia."

Los Altos High School senior Rachel Bratt snagged the role of Queen Shahrazad, sharing the lead with Rasika Raghavan - LAYT productions always feature two casts.

With rehearsals scheduled 6:30-9 p.m. four times a week, Bratt has developed a system for keeping up with her schoolwork.

"A schedule for doing homework helps keep me caught up," she said. "I have three hours between school and rehearsal, so three hours for a snack and homework. It took me a little while to get used to cramming it in that tight block, but I learned to work well efficiently, and now I look forward to grabbing my script, a pencil and water before running out the door to another fantastic production at LAYT."

Bratt said she is "super-excited" to undertake her second lead part in an LAYT show - she also played Anne in "Anne of Green Gables" in 2012.

"That was probably the best show I have ever been in at LAYT," she said of "Anne of Green Gables." "Not only did it feel professional, but everybody was such a joy to work with. The cast was so close, we really were a family. Even though it’s almost been two years, we still all keep in touch and have regular get-togethers."

Her favorite role was portraying the Dancing Hamburger in "Ramona Quimby" in 2011, which she described as "one of the most fun things I have ever done, hands down."

Supporting cast: Family is key

The recent auditions for "Arabian Nights" drew a cast of young actors and their supportive family members.

"I really didn’t want to do it for a long time," admitted Nils Forstall, 11, whose sister acted before him, but somewhere along the way, "I really started to like acting."

As Nils shared his initial reluctance to take to the stage, his grandmother, Kathy Brown, noted that her daughter Molly loved the theater. The entire family had trekked to Ashland, Ore., to see plays, as well as to New York City to see "Billy Elliot" on Broadway.

Nils had hoped for a medium-size role in "Arabian Nights" - he landed the key part of Abu Hassan.

Los Altos Hills resident Riley Breier, 11, attended the auditions with his mother, Ronda. Riley previously appeared in "Ramona Quimby" as the Old Man, in "Alice" as the Ace of Spades and in "Anne of Green Gables" as Moody Spurgeon MacPherson.

Riley has attended two Peninsula Youth Theatre summer camps and appeared in class plays in grade school.

Los Altos Youth Theatre organizers ask for a commitment, requesting that actors clear their calendars of conflicts (special instances excepted). Riley said he takes learning his lines seriously, noting that he cares about the group and doesn’t want to disappoint them.

"I really love acting," he said. "I wanted to be an actor and wanted to do more intense theater."

"Arabian Nights" is scheduled Oct. 18

through Nov. 3 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov/recreation/page/los-altos-youth-theatre. n


Los Altos Youth Theater auditions for Arabian Nights - Photos by Los Altos Town Crier

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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